International Science Index

3688
10007112
A Study on the Power Control of Wind Energy Conversion System
Abstract:
The present research presents a direct active and reactive power control (DPC) of a wind energy conversion system (WECS) for the maximum power point tracking (MPPT) based on a doubly fed induction generator (DFIG) connected to electric power grid. The control strategy of the Rotor Side Converter (RSC) is targeted in extracting a maximum of power under fluctuating wind speed. A fuzzy logic speed controller (FLC) has been used to ensure the MPPT. The Grid Side Converter is directed in a way to ensure sinusoidal current in the grid side and a smooth DC voltage. To reduce fluctuations, rotor torque and voltage use of multilevel inverters is a good way to remove the rotor harmony.
Paper Detail
1012
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3687
10009044
Multi-Level Pulse Width Modulation to Boost the Power Efficiency of Switching Amplifiers for Analog Signals with Very High Crest Factor
Abstract:

The main goal of this paper is to develop a switching amplifier with optimized power efficiency for analog signals with a very high crest factor such as audio or DSL signals. Theoretical calculations show that a switching amplifier architecture based on multi-level pulse width modulation outperforms all other types of linear or switching amplifiers in that respect. Simulations on a 2 W multi-level switching audio amplifier, designed in a 50 V 0.35 mm IC technology, confirm its superior performance in terms of power efficiency. A real silicon implementation of this audio amplifier design is currently underway to provide experimental validation.

Paper Detail
18
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3686
10009059
Effects of Audit Quality and Corporate Governance on Earnings Management of Quoted Deposit Money Banks in Nigeria
Abstract:

The stakeholders’ pressure on corporate managers to maintain firm’s profitability has created economic incentives for management to engage in earnings management practices. Therefore, this study examines the effects of audit quality and corporate governance on earnings management of quoted deposit money banks (DMBs) in Nigeria. This study specifically investigates the influence of audit tenure, audit fee, board independence, and board size on earnings management of DMBs. Explanatory research design was employed in carrying out the study while secondary data were sourced from the annual reports and accounts of all the 15 quoted DMBs in Nigerian Stock Exchange as at December 31, 2015 for a period of 10 years covering from 2006 to 2015. The data obtained for the study were analyzed using panel regression analysis approach. The findings reveal that board independence has a negative significant effect on earnings management at a 5% level of significance (p=0.002), while audit fee has a positive significant effect on earnings management at a 5% level of significance (p=0.013) and audit tenure has a negative significant effect on earnings management of DMBs at a 5% level of significance (p=0.003). Surprisingly, board size was statistically not significant at a 5% level of significance (p=0.086). The study concludes that high audit quality and sound corporate governance could improve the earnings quality of DMBs. Hence, the study recommends that the authorities saddled with the responsibility of banking supervision in Nigeria such the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and CBN to advise the National Assembly in Nigeria to pass into law the three years professional requirement for audit tenure.

Paper Detail
11
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3685
10009061
Estimation of Train Operation Using an Exponential Smoothing Method
Abstract:

The purpose of this research is to improve the convenience of waiting for trains at level crossings and stations and to prevent accidents resulting from forcible entry into level crossings, by providing level crossing users and passengers with information that tells them when the next train will pass through or arrive. For this paper, we proposed methods for estimating operation by means of an average value method, variable response smoothing method, and exponential smoothing method, on the basis of open data, which has low accuracy, but for which performance schedules are distributed in real time. We then examined the accuracy of the estimations. The results showed that the application of an exponential smoothing method is valid.

3684
10009064
Conceptualizing of Priorities in the Dynamics of Public Administration Contemporary Reforms
Abstract:

The article presents the results of the creative analysis and comparison of trends in the development of the theory of public administration during the period from the second half of the 20th to the beginning of the 21st century. The process of conceptualization of the priorities of public administration in the dynamics of reforming was held under the influence of such factors as globalization, integration, information and technological changes and human rights is examined. The priorities of the social state in the concepts of the second half of the 20th century are studied. Peculiar approaches to determining the priorities of public administration in the countries of "Soviet dictatorship" in Central and Eastern Europe in the same period are outlined. Particular attention is paid to the priorities of public administration regarding the interaction between public power and society and the development of conceptual foundations for the modern managerial process. There is a thought that the dynamics of the formation of concepts of the European governance is characterized by the sequence of priorities: from socio-economic and moral-ethical to organizational-procedural and non-hierarchical ones. The priorities of the "welfare state" were focused on the decent level of material wellbeing of population. At the same time, the conception of "minimal state" emphasized priorities of human responsibility for their own fate under the conditions of minimal state protection. Later on, the emphasis was placed on horizontal ties and redistribution of powers and competences of "effective state" with its developed procedures and limits of responsibility at all levels of government and in close cooperation with the civil society. The priorities of the contemporary period are concentrated on human rights in the concepts of "good governance" and all the following ones, which recognize the absolute priority of public administration with compliance, provision and protection of human rights. There is a proved point of view that civilizational changes taking place under the influence of information and technological imperatives also stipulate changes in priorities, redistribution of emphases and update principles of managerial concepts on the basis of publicity, transparency, departure from traditional forms of hierarchy and control in favor of interactivity and inter-sectoral interaction, decentralization and humanization of managerial processes. The necessity to permanently carry out the reorganization, by establishing the interaction between different participants of public power and social relations, to establish a balance between political forces and social interests on the basis of mutual trust and mutual understanding determines changes of social, political, economic and humanitarian paradigms of public administration and their theoretical comprehension. The further studies of theoretical foundations of modern public administration in interdisciplinary discourse in the context of ambiguous consequences of the globalizational and integrational processes of modern European state-building would be advisable. This is especially true during the period of political transformations and economic crises which are the characteristic of the contemporary Europe, especially for democratic transition countries.

3683
10008875
Immunolabeling of TGF-β during Muscle Regeneration
Abstract:

Muscle regeneration after injury (as irradiation) is of great importance. However, the molecular and cellular mechanisms are still unclear. Cytokines are believed to play fundamental role in the different stages of muscle regeneration. They are secreted by many cell populations, but the predominant producers are macrophages and helper T cells. On the other hand, it has been shown that adipose tissue derived stromal/stem cell (ASC) injection could improve muscle regeneration. Stem cells probably induce the coordinated modulations of gene expression in different macrophage cells. Therefore, we investigated the patterns and timing of changes in gene expression of different cytokines occurring upon stem cells loading. Muscle regeneration was studied in an irradiated muscle of minipig animal model in presence or absence of ASC treatment (irradiated and treated with ASCs, IRR+ASC; irradiated not-treated with ASCs, IRR; and non-irradiated no-IRR). We characterized macrophage populations by immunolabeling in the different conditions. In our study, we found mostly M2 and a few M1 macrophages in the IRR+ASC samples. However, only few M2b macrophages were noticed in the IRR muscles. In addition, we found intensive fibrosis in the IRR samples. With in situ hybridization and immunolabeling, we analyzed the cytokine expression of the different macrophages and we showed that M2d macrophage are the most abundant in the IRR+ASC samples. By in situ hybridization, strong expression of the transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) was observed in the IRR+ASC but very week in the IRR samples. But when we analyzed TGF-β level with immunolabeling the expression was very different: many M2 macrophages showed week expression in IRR+ASC and few cells expressing stronger level in IRR muscles. Therefore, we investigated the MMP expressions in the different muscles. Our data showed that the M2 macrophages of the IRR+ASC muscle expressed MMP2 proteins. Our working hypothesis is that MMP2 expression of the M2 macrophages can decrease fibrosis in the IRR+ASC muscle by capturing TGF-β.

Paper Detail
72
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3682
10008899
Life Cycle-Based Analysis of Meat Production: Ecosystem Impacts
Abstract:
Recently, meat production ecosystem impacts initiated many hot discussions and researchers, and it is a difficult implementation to reduce such impacts due to the demand of meat products. It calls for better management and control of ecosystem impacts from every aspects of meat production. This article analyzes the ecosystem impacts of meat production based on meat products life cycle. The analysis shows that considerable ecosystem impacts are caused by different meat production steps: initial establishment phase, animal raising, slaughterhouse processing, meat consumption, and wastes management. Based on this analysis, the impacts are summarized as: leading factor for biodiversity loss; water waste, land use waste and land degradation; greenhouse gases emissions; pollution to air, water, and soil; related major diseases. The article also provides a discussion on a solution-sustainable food system, which could help in reducing ecosystem impacts. The analysis method is based on the life cycle level, it provides a concept of the whole meat industry ecosystem impacts, and the analysis result could be useful to manage or control meat production ecosystem impacts from investor, producer and consumer sides.
Paper Detail
94
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3681
10008939
Reliability and Cost Focused Optimization Approach for a Communication Satellite Payload Redundancy Allocation Problem
Abstract:

A typical reliability engineering problem regarding communication satellites has been considered to determine redundancy allocation scheme of power amplifiers within payload transponder module, whose dominant function is to amplify power levels of the received signals from the Earth, through maximizing reliability against mass, power, and other technical limitations. Adding each redundant power amplifier component increases not only reliability but also hardware, testing, and launch cost of a satellite. This study investigates a multi-objective approach used in order to solve Redundancy Allocation Problem (RAP) for a communication satellite payload transponder, focusing on design cost due to redundancy and reliability factors. The main purpose is to find the optimum power amplifier redundancy configuration satisfying reliability and capacity thresholds simultaneously instead of analyzing respectively or independently. A mathematical model and calculation approach are instituted including objective function definitions, and then, the problem is solved analytically with different input parameters in MATLAB environment. Example results showed that payload capacity and failure rate of power amplifiers have remarkable effects on the solution and also processing time.

Paper Detail
110
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3680
10008941
Vitamin D Deficiency and Insufficiency in Postmenopausal Women with Obesity
Abstract:

Deficiency and insufficiency of Vitamin D is a pandemic of the 21st century. Obesity patients have a lower level of vitamin D, but the literature data are contradictory. The purpose of this study is to investigate deficiency and insufficiency vitamin D in postmenopausal women with obesity. We examined 1007 women aged 50-89 years. Mean age was 65.74±8.61 years; mean height was 1.61±0.07 m; mean weight was 70.65±13.50 kg; mean body mass index was 27.27±4.86 kg/m2, and mean 25(OH) D levels in serum was 26.00±12.00 nmol/l. The women were divided into the following six groups depending on body mass index: I group – 338 women with normal body weight, II group – 16 women with insufficient body weight, III group – 382 women with excessive body weight, IV group – 199 women with obesity of class I, V group – 60 women with obesity of class II, and VI group – 12 women with obesity of class III. Level of 25(OH)D in serum was measured by means of an electrochemiluminescent method - Elecsys 2010 analyzer (Roche Diagnostics, Germany) and cobas test-systems. 34.4% of the examined women have deficiency of vitamin D and 31.4% insufficiency. Women with obesity of class I (23.60±10.24 ng/ml) and obese of class II (22.38±10.34 ng/ml) had significantly lower levels of 25 (OH) D compared to women with normal body weight (28.24±12.99 ng/ml), p=0.00003. In women with obesity, BMI significantly influences vitamin D level, and this influence does not depend on the season.

Paper Detail
58
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3679
10008942
Associations between Metabolic Syndrome and Bone Mineral Density and Trabecular Bone Score in Postmenopausal Women with Non-Vertebral Fractures
Abstract:

Medical, social, and economic relevance of osteoporosis is caused by reducing quality of life, increasing disability and mortality of the patients as a result of fractures due to the low-energy trauma. This study is aimed to examine the associations of metabolic syndrome components, bone mineral density (BMD) and trabecular bone score (TBS) in menopausal women with non-vertebral fractures. 1161 menopausal women aged 50-79 year-old were examined and divided into three groups: A included 419 women with increased body weight (BMI - 25.0-29.9 kg/m2), B – 442 females with obesity (BMI >29.9 kg/m2)i and C – 300 women with metabolic syndrome (diagnosis according to IDF criteria, 2005). BMD of lumbar spine (L1-L4), femoral neck, total body and forearm was investigated with usage of dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. The bone quality indexes were measured according to Med-Imaps installation. All analyses were performed using Statistical Package 6.0. BMD of lumbar spine (L1-L4), femoral neck, total body, and ultradistal radius was significant higher in women with obesity and metabolic syndrome compared to the pre-obese ones (p<0.001). TBS was significantly higher in women with increased body weight compared to obese and metabolic syndrome patients. Analysis showed significant positive correlation between waist circumference, triglycerides level and BMD of lumbar spine and femur. Significant negative association between serum HDL level and BMD of investigated sites was established. The TBS (L1-L4) indexes positively correlated with HDL (high-density lipoprotein) level. Despite the fact that BMD indexes were better in women with metabolic syndrome, the frequency of non-vertebral fractures was significantly higher in this group of patients.

Paper Detail
49
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3678
10008964
Causes and Implications of Obesity in Urban School Going Children
Abstract:

Obesity is an abnormal physical condition where an increased and undesirable fat accumulates in the human body. Obesity is an international phenomenon. In the present study, 12 schools were randomly selected from each district considering the areas i.e. Elite Private Schools in the private sector, Government schools in urban areas and Government schools in rural areas. Interviews were conducted with male students studying in grade 5 to grade 9 in each school. The sample size was 600 students; 300 from Faisalabad district and 300 from Rawalpindi district in Pakistan. A well-structured and pre-tested questionnaire was used for data collection. The calibrated scales were used to attain the heights and weights of the respondents. Obesity of school-going children depends on family types, family size, family history, junk food consumption, mother’s education, weekly time spent in walking, and sports facility at school levels. Academic performance, physical health and psychological health of school going children are affected with obesity. Concrete steps and policies could minimize the incidence of obesity in children in Pakistan.

Paper Detail
54
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3677
10008970
Child Homicide Victimization and Community Context: A Research Note
Authors:
Abstract:

Among serious crimes, child homicide is a rather rare event. However, the killing of children stirs up a special type of emotion in society that pales other criminal acts. This study examines the relevancy of three possible community-level explanations for child homicide: social deprivation, female empowerment, and social isolation. The social deprivation hypothesis posits that child homicide results from lack of resources in communities. The female empowerment hypothesis argues that a higher female status translates into a higher level of capability to prevent child homicide. Finally, the social isolation hypothesis regards child homicide as a result of lack of social connectivity. Child homicide data, aggregated by US postal ZIP codes in California from 1990 to 1999, were analyzed with a negative binomial regression. The results of the negative binomial analysis demonstrate that social deprivation is the most salient and consistent predictor among all other factors in explaining child homicide victimization at the ZIP-code level. Both social isolation and female labor force participation are weak predictors of child homicide victimization across communities. Further, results from the negative binomial regression show that it is the communities with a higher, not lower, degree of female labor force participation that are associated with a higher count of child homicide. It is possible that poor communities with a higher level of female employment have a lesser capacity to provide the necessary care and protection for the children. Policies aiming at reducing social deprivation and strengthening female empowerment possess the potential to reduce child homicide in the community.

Paper Detail
39
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3676
10008973
Assessing the Social Impacts of Regional Services: The Case of a Portuguese Municipality
Abstract:

In recent years, the social economy is increasingly seen as a viable means to address social problems. Social enterprises, as well as public projects and initiatives targeted to meet social purposes, offer organizational models that assume heterogeneity, flexibility and adaptability to the ‘real world and real problems’. Despite the growing popularity of social initiatives, decision makers still face a paucity in what concerns the available models and tools to adequately assess its sustainability, and its impacts, notably the nature of its contribution to economic growth. This study was carried out at the local level, by analyzing the social impact initiatives and projects promoted by the Municipality of Albergaria-a-Velha (Câmara Municipal de Albergaria-a-Velha -CMA), a municipality of 25,000 inhabitants in the central region of Portugal. This work focuses on the challenges related to the qualifications and employability of citizens, which stands out as one of the key concerns in the Portuguese economy, particularly expressive in the context of small-scale cities and inland territories. The study offers a characterization of the Municipality, its socio-economic structure and challenges, followed by an exploratory analysis of multiple sourced data, collected from the CMA's documental sources as well as from privileged informants. The purpose is to conduct detailed analysis of the CMA's social projects, aimed at characterizing its potential impact for the model of qualifications and employability of the citizens of the Municipality. The study encompasses a discussion of the socio-economic profile of the municipality, notably its asymmetries, the analysis of the social projects and initiatives, as well as of data derived from inquiry actors involved in the implementation of the social projects and its beneficiaries. Finally, the results obtained with the Better Life Index will be included. This study makes it possible to ascertain if what is implicit in the literature goes to the encounter of what one experiences in reality.

Paper Detail
47
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3675
10008975
The Cooperation among Insulin, Cortisol and Thyroid Hormones in Morbid Obese Children and Metabolic Syndrome
Abstract:

Obesity, a disease associated with a low-grade inflammation, is a risk factor for the development of metabolic syndrome (MetS). So far, MetS risk factors such as parameters related to glucose and lipid metabolisms as well as blood pressure were considered for the evaluation of this disease. There are still some ambiguities related to the characteristic features of MetS observed particularly in pediatric population. Hormonal imbalance is also important, and quite a lot information exists about the behaviour of some hormones in adults. However, the hormonal profiles in pediatric metabolism have not been cleared yet. The aim of this study is to investigate the profiles of cortisol, insulin, and thyroid hormones in children with MetS. The study population was composed of morbid obese (MO) children without (Group 1) and with (Group 2) MetS components. WHO BMI-for age and sex percentiles were used for the classification of obesity. The values above 99 percentile were defined as morbid obesity. Components of MetS (central obesity, glucose intolerance, high blood pressure, high triacylglycerol levels, low levels of high density lipoprotein cholesterol) were determined. Anthropometric measurements were performed. Ratios as well as obesity indices were calculated. Insulin, cortisol, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), free T3 and free T4 analyses were performed by electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. Data were evaluated by statistical package for social sciences program. p<0.05 was accepted as the degree for statistical significance. The mean ages±SD values of Group 1 and Group 2 were 9.9±3.1 years and 10.8±3.2 years, respectively. Body mass index (BMI) values were calculated as 27.4±5.9 kg/m2 and 30.6±8.1 kg/m2, successively. There were no statistically significant differences between the ages and BMI values of the groups. Insulin levels were statistically significantly increased in MetS in comparison with the levels measured in MO children. There was not any difference between MO children and those with MetS in terms of cortisol, T3, T4 and TSH. However, T4 levels were positively correlated with cortisol and negatively correlated with insulin. None of these correlations were observed in MO children. Cortisol levels in both MO as well as MetS group were significantly correlated. Cortisol, insulin, and thyroid hormones are essential for life. Cortisol, called the control system for hormones, orchestrates the performance of other key hormones. It seems to establish a connection between hormone imbalance and inflammation. During an inflammatory state, more cortisol is produced to fight inflammation. High cortisol levels prevent the conversion of the inactive form of the thyroid hormone T4 into active form T3. Insulin is reduced due to low thyroid hormone. T3, which is essential for blood sugar control- requires cortisol levels within the normal range. Positive association of T4 with cortisol and negative association of it with insulin are the indicators of such a delicate balance among these hormones also in children with MetS.

Paper Detail
52
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3674
10008977
When Psychology Meets Ecology: Cognitive Flexibility for Quarry Rehabilitation
Abstract:

Ecological projects are often faced with reluctance from local communities hosting the project, especially when this project involves variation from preset ideas or classical practices. This paper aims at appreciating the contribution of environmental psychology through cognitive flexibility exercises to improve the acceptability of local communities in adopting more ecological rehabilitation scenarios. The study is based on a quarry site located in Bekaa- Lebanon. Four groups were considered with different levels of involvement, as follows: Group 1 is Training (T) – 50 hours of on-site training over 8 months, Group 2 is Awareness (A) – 2 hours of awareness raising session, Group 3 is Flexibility (F) – 2 hours of flexibility exercises and Group 4 is the Control (C). The results show that individuals in Group 3 (F) who followed flexibility sessions accept comparably the ecological rehabilitation option over the more classical one. This is also the case for the people in Group 1 (T) who followed a more time-demanding “on-site training”. Another experience was conducted on a second quarry site combining flexibility with awareness-raising. This research confirms that it is possible to reduce resistance to change thanks to a limited in-time intervention using cognitive flexibility. This methodological approach could be transferable to other environmental problems involving local communities and changes in preset perceptions.

Paper Detail
53
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3673
10009000
Replicating Brain’s Resting State Functional Connectivity Network Using a Multi-Factor Hub-Based Model
Abstract:
The brain’s functional connectivity while temporally non-stationary does express consistency at a macro spatial level. The study of stable resting state connectivity patterns hence provides opportunities for identification of diseases if such stability is severely perturbed. A mathematical model replicating the brain’s spatial connections will be useful for understanding brain’s representative geometry and complements the empirical model where it falls short. Empirical computations tend to involve large matrices and become infeasible with fine parcellation. However, the proposed analytical model has no such computational problems. To improve replicability, 92 subject data are obtained from two open sources. The proposed methodology, inspired by financial theory, uses multivariate regression to find relationships of every cortical region of interest (ROI) with some pre-identified hubs. These hubs acted as representatives for the entire cortical surface. A variance-covariance framework of all ROIs is then built based on these relationships to link up all the ROIs. The result is a high level of match between model and empirical correlations in the range of 0.59 to 0.66 after adjusting for sample size; an increase of almost forty percent. More significantly, the model framework provides an intuitive way to delineate between systemic drivers and idiosyncratic noise while reducing dimensions by more than 30 folds, hence, providing a way to conduct attribution analysis. Due to its analytical nature and simple structure, the model is useful as a standalone toolkit for network dependency analysis or as a module for other mathematical models.
Paper Detail
37
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3672
10009014
Cross Country Comparison: Business Process Management Maturity, Social Business Process Management and Organizational Culture
Abstract:

In recent few decades, business process management (BPM) has been in focus of a great number of researchers and organizations. There are many benefits derived from the implementation of BPM in organizations. However, there has been also noticed that lately traditional BPM faces some difficulties in terms of the divide between models and their execution, lost innovations, lack of information fusioning and so on. As a result, there has been a new discipline, called social BPM, which incorporates principles of social software into the BPM. On the other hand, many researchers indicate organizational culture as a vital part of the BPM success and maturity. Therefore, the goal of this study is to investigate the current state of BPM maturity and the usage of social BPM among the organizations from Croatia, Slovenia and Austria, with the regards to the organizational culture as well. The paper presents the results of a survey conducted as part of the PROSPER project (IP-2014-09-3729), financed by Croatian Science Foundation. The results indicate differences in the level of BPM maturity, the usage of social BPM and the dominant organizational culture in the observed organizations from different countries. These differences are further discussed in the paper.

Paper Detail
33
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3671
10009022
Microfluidic Plasmonic Bio-Sensing of Exosomes by Using a Gold Nano-Island Platform
Abstract:

A bio-sensing method, based on the plasmonic property of gold nano-islands, has been developed for detection of exosomes in a clinical setting. The position of the gold plasmon band in the UV-Visible spectrum depends on the size and shape of gold nanoparticles as well as on the surrounding environment. By adsorbing various chemical entities, or binding them, the gold plasmon band will shift toward longer wavelengths and the shift is proportional to the concentration. Exosomes transport cargoes of molecules and genetic materials to proximal and distal cells. Presently, the standard method for their isolation and quantification from body fluids is by ultracentrifugation, not a practical method to be implemented in a clinical setting. Thus, a versatile and cutting-edge platform is required to selectively detect and isolate exosomes for further analysis at clinical level. The new sensing protocol, instead of antibodies, makes use of a specially synthesized polypeptide (Vn96), to capture and quantify the exosomes from different media, by binding the heat shock proteins from exosomes. The protocol has been established and optimized by using a glass substrate, in order to facilitate the next stage, namely the transfer of the protocol to a microfluidic environment. After each step of the protocol, the UV-Vis spectrum was recorded and the position of gold Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance (LSPR) band was measured. The sensing process was modelled, taking into account the characteristics of the nano-island structure, prepared by thermal convection and annealing. The optimal molar ratios of the most important chemical entities, involved in the detection of exosomes were calculated as well. Indeed, it was found that the results of the sensing process depend on the two major steps: the molar ratios of streptavidin to biotin-PEG-Vn96 and, the final step, the capture of exosomes by the biotin-PEG-Vn96 complex. The microfluidic device designed for sensing of exosomes consists of a glass substrate, sealed by a PDMS layer that contains the channel and a collecting chamber. In the device, the solutions of linker, cross-linker, etc., are pumped over the gold nano-islands and an Ocean Optics spectrometer is used to measure the position of the Au plasmon band at each step of the sensing. The experiments have shown that the shift of the Au LSPR band is proportional to the concentration of exosomes and, thereby, exosomes can be accurately quantified. An important advantage of the method is the ability to discriminate between exosomes having different origins.

Paper Detail
29
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3670
10009036
Analysis and Modeling of Stresses and Creeps Resulting from Soil Mechanics in Southern Plains of Kerman Province
Abstract:
Many of the engineering materials, such as behavioral metals, have at least a certain level of linear behavior. It means that if the stresses are doubled, the deformations would be also doubled. In fact, these materials have linear elastic properties. Soils do not follow this law, for example, when compressed, soils become gradually tighter. On the surface of the ground, the sand can be easily deformed with a finger, but in high compressive stresses, they gain considerable hardness and strength. This is mainly due to the increase in the forces among the separate particles. Creeps also deform the soils under a constant load over time. Clay and peat soils have creep behavior. As a result of this phenomenon, structures constructed on such soils will continue their collapse over time. In this paper, the researchers analyzed and modeled the stresses and creeps in the southern plains of Kerman province in Iran through library-documentary, quantitative and software techniques, and field survey. The results of the modeling showed that these plains experienced severe stresses and had a collapse of about 26 cm in the last 15 years and also creep evidence was discovered in an area with a gradient of 3-6 degrees.
Paper Detail
12
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10009037
Integrated Mass Rapid Transit System for Smart City Project in Western India
Abstract:

This paper is an attempt to develop an Integrated Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) for a smart city project in Western India. Integrated transportation is one of the enablers of smart transportation for providing a seamless intercity as well as regional level transportation experience. The success of a smart city project at the city level for transportation is providing proper integration to different mass rapid transit modes by way of integrating information, physical, network of routes fares, etc. The methodology adopted for this study was primary data research through questionnaire survey. The respondents of the questionnaire survey have responded on the issues about their perceptions on the ways and means to improve public transport services in urban cities. The respondents were also required to identify the factors and attributes which might motivate more people to shift towards the public mode. Also, the respondents were questioned about the factors which they feel might restrain the integration of various modes of MRTS. Furthermore, this study also focuses on developing a utility equation for respondents with the help of multiple linear regression analysis and its probability to shift to public transport for certain factors listed in the questionnaire. It has been observed that for shifting to public transport, the most important factors that need to be considered were travel time saving and comfort rating. Also, an Integrated MRTS can be obtained by combining metro rail with BRTS, metro rail with monorail, monorail with BRTS and metro rail with Indian railways. Providing a common smart card to transport users for accessing all the different available modes would be a pragmatic solution towards integration of the available modes of MRTS.

Paper Detail
11
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3668
10009039
Studying the Effect of Froude Number and Densimetric Froude Number on Local Scours around Circular Bridge Piers
Abstract:

A very large percentage of bridge failures are attributed to scouring around bridge piers and this directly influences public safety. Experiments are carried out in a 12-m long rectangular open channel flume made of transparent tempered glass. A 300 mm thick bed made up of sand particles is leveled horizontally to create the test bed and a 50 mm hollow plastic cylinder is used as a model bridge pier. Tests are carried out with varying flow depths and velocities. Data points of various scour parameters such as scour depth, width, and length are collected based on different flow conditions and visual observations of changes in the stream bed downstream the bridge pier are also made as the scour progresses. Result shows that all three major flow characteristics (flow depth, Froude number and densimetric Froude number) have one way or other affect the scour profile.

Paper Detail
14
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10009043
Effects of the In-Situ Upgrading Project in Afghanistan: A Case Study on the Formally and Informally Developed Areas in Kabul
Abstract:

Cities in Afghanistan have been rapidly urbanized; however, many parts of these cities have been developed with no detailed land use plan or infrastructure. In other words, they have been informally developed without any government leadership. The new government started the In-situ Upgrading Project in Kabul to upgrade roads, the water supply network system, and the surface water drainage system on the existing street layout in 2002, with the financial support of international agencies. This project is an appropriate emergency improvement for living life, but not an essential improvement of living conditions and infrastructure problems because the life expectancies of the improved facilities are as short as 10–15 years, and residents cannot obtain land tenure in the unplanned areas. The Land Readjustment System (LRS) conducted in Japan has good advantages that rearrange irregularly shaped land lots and develop the infrastructure effectively. This study investigates the effects of the In-situ Upgrading Project on private investment, land prices, and residents’ satisfaction with projects in Kart-e-Char, where properties are registered, and in Afshar-e-Silo Lot 1, where properties are unregistered. These projects are located 5 km and 7 km from the CBD area of Kabul, respectively. This study discusses whether LRS should be applied to the unplanned area based on the questionnaire and interview responses of experts experienced in the In-situ Upgrading Project who have knowledge of LRS. The analysis results reveal that, in Kart-e-Char, a lot of private investment has been made in the construction of medium-rise (five- to nine-story) buildings for commercial and residential purposes. Land values have also incrementally increased since the project, and residents are commonly satisfied with the road pavement, drainage systems, and water supplies, but dissatisfied with the poor delivery of electricity as well as the lack of public facilities (e.g., parks and sport facilities). In Afshar-e-Silo Lot 1, basic infrastructures like paved roads and surface water drainage systems have improved from the project. After the project, a few four- and five-story residential buildings were built with very low-level private investments, but significant increases in land prices were not evident. The residents are satisfied with the contribution ratio, drainage system, and small increase in land price, but there is still no drinking water supply system or tenure security; moreover, there are substandard paved roads and a lack of public facilities, such as parks, sport facilities, mosques, and schools. The results of the questionnaire and interviews with the four engineers highlight the problems that remain to be solved in the unplanned areas if LRS is applied—namely, land use differences, types and conditions of the infrastructure still to be installed by the project, and time spent for positive consensus building among the residents, given the project’s budget limitation.

Paper Detail
20
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3666
10008701
Regional Low Gravity Anomalies Influencing High Concentrations of Heavy Minerals on Placer Deposits
Abstract:

Regions of low gravity and gravity anomalies both influence heavy mineral concentrations on placer deposits. Economically imported heavy minerals are likely to have higher levels of deposition in low gravity regions of placer deposits. This can be found in coastal regions of Southern Asia, particularly in Sri Lanka and Peninsula India and areas located in the lowest gravity region of the world. The area about 70 kilometers of the east coast of Sri Lanka is covered by a high percentage of ilmenite deposits, and the southwest coast of the island consists of Monazite placer deposit. These deposits are one of the largest placer deposits in the world. In India, the heavy mineral industry has a good market. On the other hand, based on the coastal placer deposits recorded, the high gravity region located around Papua New Guinea, has no such heavy mineral deposits. In low gravity regions, with the help of other depositional environmental factors, the grains have more time and space to float in the sea, this helps bring high concentrations of heavy mineral deposits to the coast. The effect of low and high gravity can be demonstrated by using heavy mineral separation devices.  The Wilfley heavy mineral separating table is one of these; it is extensively used in industries and in laboratories for heavy mineral separation. The horizontally oscillating Wilfley table helps to separate heavy and light mineral grains in to deferent fractions, with the use of water. In this experiment, the low and high angle of the Wilfley table are representing low and high gravity respectively. A sample mixture of grain size <0.85 mm of heavy and light mineral grains has been used for this experiment. The high and low angle of the table was 60 and 20 respectively for this experiment. The separated fractions from the table are again separated into heavy and light minerals, with the use of heavy liquid, which consists of a specific gravity of 2.85. The fractions of separated heavy and light minerals have been used for drawing the two-dimensional graphs. The graphs show that the low gravity stage has a high percentage of heavy minerals collected in the upper area of the table than in the high gravity stage. The results of the experiment can be used for the comparison of regional low gravity and high gravity levels of heavy minerals. If there are any heavy mineral deposits in the high gravity regions, these deposits will take place far away from the coast, within the continental shelf.

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10008747
Evaluation of Negative Air Ions in Bioaerosol Removal: Indoor Concentration of Airborne Bacterial and Fungal in Residential Building in Qom City, Iran
Abstract:

The present investigation was conducted to detect the type and concentrations of bacterial and fungal bioaerosols in one room (bedroom) of each selected residential building located in different regions of Qom during February 2015 (n=9) to July 2016 (n=11). Moreover, we evaluated the efficiency of negative air ions (NAIs) in bioaerosol reduction in indoor air in residential buildings. In the first step, the mean concentrations of bacterial and fungal in nine sampling sites evaluated in winter were 744 and 579 colony forming units (CFU)/m3, while these values were 1628.6 and 231 CFU/m3 in the 11 sampling sites evaluated in summer, respectively. The most predominant genera between bacterial and fungal in all sampling sites were detected as Micrococcus spp. and Staphylococcus spp. and also, Aspergillus spp. and Penicillium spp., respectively. The 95% and 45% of sampling sites have bacterial and fungal concentrations over the recommended levels, respectively. In the removal step, we achieved a reduction with a range of 38% to 93% for bacterial genera and 25% to 100% for fungal genera by using NAIs. The results suggested that NAI is a highly effective, simple and efficient technique in reducing the bacterial and fungal concentration in the indoor air of residential buildings.

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10008796
The Influence of Variable Geometrical Modifications of the Trailing Edge of Supercritical Airfoil on the Characteristics of Aerodynamics
Abstract:

The fuel consumption of modern, high wing loading, commercial aircraft in the first stage of flight is high because the usable flight level is lower and the weather conditions (jet stream) have great impact on aircraft performance. To reduce the fuel consumption, it is necessary to raise during first stage of flight the L/D ratio value within Cl 0.55-0.65. Different variable geometrical wing trailing edge modifications of SC(2)-410 airfoil were compared at M 0.78 using the CFD software STAR-CCM+ simulation based Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) equations. The numerical results obtained show that by increasing the width of the airfoil by 4% and by modifying the trailing edge airfoil, it is possible to decrease airfoil drag at Cl 0.70 for up to 26.6% and at the same time to increase commercial aircraft L/D ratio for up to 5.0%. Fuel consumption can be reduced in proportion to the increase in L/D ratio.

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10008804
Road Vehicle Recognition Using Magnetic Sensing Feature Extraction and Classification
Abstract:

This paper presents a road vehicle detection approach for the intelligent transportation system. This approach mainly uses low-cost magnetic sensor and associated data collection system to collect magnetic signals. This system can measure the magnetic field changing, and it also can detect and count vehicles. We extend Mel Frequency Cepstral Coefficients to analyze vehicle magnetic signals. Vehicle type features are extracted using representation of cepstrum, frame energy, and gap cepstrum of magnetic signals. We design a 2-dimensional map algorithm using Vector Quantization to classify vehicle magnetic features to four typical types of vehicles in Australian suburbs: sedan, VAN, truck, and bus. Experiments results show that our approach achieves a high level of accuracy for vehicle detection and classification.

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158
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10008820
Nearly Zero-Energy Regulation and Buildings Built with Prefabricated Technology: The Case of Hungary
Abstract:

There is an urgent need nowadays to reduce energy demand and the current level of greenhouse gas emission and use renewable energy sources increase in energy efficiency. On the other hand, the European Union (EU) countries are largely dependent on energy imports and are vulnerable to disruption in energy supply, which may, in turn, threaten the functioning of their current economic structure. Residential buildings represent a significant part of the energy consumption of the building stock. Only a small part of the building stock is exchanged every year, thus it is essential to increase the energy efficiency of the existing buildings. Present paper focuses on the buildings built with industrialized technology only, and their opportunities in the boundaries of nearly zero-energy regulation. Current paper shows the emergence of panel construction method, and past and present of the ‘panel’ problem in Hungary with a short outlook to Europe. The study shows as well as the possibilities for meeting the nearly zero and cost optimized requirements for residential buildings by analyzing the renovation scenarios of an existing residential typology.

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10008824
Optimization of Surface Roughness in Turning Process Utilizing Live Tooling via Taguchi Methodology
Abstract:

The objective of this research is to optimize the process of cutting cylindrical workpieces utilizing live tooling on a HAAS ST-20 lathe. Surface roughness (Ra) has been investigated as the indicator of quality characteristics for machining process. Aluminum alloy was used to conduct experiments due to its wide range usages in engineering structures and components where light weight or corrosion resistance is required. In this study, Taguchi methodology is utilized to determine the effects that each of the parameters has on surface roughness (Ra). A total of 18 experiments of each process were designed according to Taguchi’s L9 orthogonal array (OA) with four control factors at three levels of each and signal-to-noise ratios (S/N) were computed with Smaller the better equation for minimizing the system. The optimal parameters identified for the surface roughness of the turning operation utilizing live tooling were a feed rate of 3 inches/min(A3); a spindle speed of 1300 rpm(B3); a 2-flute titanium nitrite coated 3/8” endmill (C1); and a depth of cut of 0.025 inches (D2). The mean surface roughness of the confirmation runs in turning operation was 8.22 micro inches. The final results demonstrate that Taguchi methodology is a sufficient way of process improvement in turning process on surface roughness.

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10008837
Experimental Simulation Set-Up for Validating Out-Of-The-Loop Mitigation when Monitoring High Levels of Automation in Air Traffic Control
Abstract:

An increasing degree of automation in air traffic will also change the role of the air traffic controller (ATCO). ATCOs will fulfill significantly more monitoring tasks compared to today. However, this rather passive role may lead to Out-Of-The-Loop (OOTL) effects comprising vigilance decrement and less situation awareness. The project MINIMA (Mitigating Negative Impacts of Monitoring high levels of Automation) has conceived a system to control and mitigate such OOTL phenomena. In order to demonstrate the MINIMA concept, an experimental simulation set-up has been designed. This set-up consists of two parts: 1) a Task Environment (TE) comprising a Terminal Maneuvering Area (TMA) simulator as well as 2) a Vigilance and Attention Controller (VAC) based on neurophysiological data recording such as electroencephalography (EEG) and eye-tracking devices. The current vigilance level and the attention focus of the controller are measured during the ATCO’s active work in front of the human machine interface (HMI). The derived vigilance level and attention trigger adaptive automation functionalities in the TE to avoid OOTL effects. This paper describes the full-scale experimental set-up and the component development work towards it. Hence, it encompasses a pre-test whose results influenced the development of the VAC as well as the functionalities of the final TE and the two VAC’s sub-components.

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10008855
Comparing Test Equating by Item Response Theory and Raw Score Methods with Small Sample Sizes on a Study of the ARTé: Mecenas Learning Game
Abstract:
The purpose of the present research is to equate two test forms as part of a study to evaluate the educational effectiveness of the ARTé: Mecenas art history learning game. The researcher applied Item Response Theory (IRT) procedures to calculate item, test, and mean-sigma equating parameters. With the sample size n=134, test parameters indicated “good” model fit but low Test Information Functions and more acute than expected equating parameters. Therefore, the researcher applied equipercentile equating and linear equating to raw scores and compared the equated form parameters and effect sizes from each method. Item scaling in IRT enables the researcher to select a subset of well-discriminating items. The mean-sigma step produces a mean-slope adjustment from the anchor items, which was used to scale the score on the new form (Form R) to the reference form (Form Q) scale. In equipercentile equating, scores are adjusted to align the proportion of scores in each quintile segment. Linear equating produces a mean-slope adjustment, which was applied to all core items on the new form. The study followed a quasi-experimental design with purposeful sampling of students enrolled in a college level art history course (n=134) and counterbalancing design to distribute both forms on the pre- and posttests. The Experimental Group (n=82) was asked to play ARTé: Mecenas online and complete Level 4 of the game within a two-week period; 37 participants completed Level 4. Over the same period, the Control Group (n=52) did not play the game. The researcher examined between group differences from post-test scores on test Form Q and Form R by full-factorial Two-Way ANOVA. The raw score analysis indicated a 1.29% direct effect of form, which was statistically non-significant but may be practically significant. The researcher repeated the between group differences analysis with all three equating methods. For the IRT mean-sigma adjusted scores, form had a direct effect of 8.39%. Mean-sigma equating with a small sample may have resulted in inaccurate equating parameters. Equipercentile equating aligned test means and standard deviations, but resultant skewness and kurtosis worsened compared to raw score parameters. Form had a 3.18% direct effect. Linear equating produced the lowest Form effect, approaching 0%. Using linearly equated scores, the researcher conducted an ANCOVA to examine the effect size in terms of prior knowledge. The between group effect size for the Control Group versus Experimental Group participants who completed the game was 14.39% with a 4.77% effect size attributed to pre-test score. Playing and completing the game increased art history knowledge, and individuals with low prior knowledge tended to gain more from pre- to post test. Ultimately, researchers should approach test equating based on their theoretical stance on Classical Test Theory and IRT and the respective  assumptions. Regardless of the approach or method, test equating requires a representative sample of sufficient size. With small sample sizes, the application of a range of equating approaches can expose item and test features for review, inform interpretation, and identify paths for improving instruments for future study.
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